Flea-Baggers Are Not the Problem

The Flea-baggers protesting in various cities across the United States will not be successful. The longer they protest and the smellier they get, the more that most Americans will rebel against their tactics. It’s happened before.

Those pushing for an overthrow of the establishment in the 1960s through violent means learned a lot when their radical agenda failed to accomplish their stated goals and turned the majority of the population against them. In his Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky (1909–1972) proposed a different strategy:

“Power comes out of the barrel of a gun!” is an absurd rallying cry when the other side has all the guns. Lenin was a pragmatist; when he returned . . . from exile, he said that the Bolsheviks stood for getting power through the ballot but would reconsider after they got the guns. Militant mouthings? Spouting quotes from Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara, which are as germane to our highly technological, computerized, cybernetic, nuclear-powered, mass media society as a stagecoach on a jet runway at Kennedy airport?”

The radicals knew it would be necessary to capture the institutions without ever firing a shot or blowing up another building. Roger Kimball captures the tactic well in his book The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America: “The long march through the institutions signified in the words of [Herbert] Marcuse, ‘working against the established institutions while working in them’. By this means—by insinuation and infiltration rather than by confrontation—the counter-cultural dreams of radicals like Marcuse have triumphed.”1

Before Alinsky and Marcuse there was Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937). Gramsci considered Christianity to be the “force binding all the classes—peasants and workers and princes priests and popes and all the rest besides, into a single, homogeneous culture. It was specifically Christian culture, in which individual men and women understood that the most important things about human life transcend the material conditions in which they lived out their mortal lives.”2 Gramsci broke with Marx and Lenin’s belief that the masses would rise up and overthrow the ruling “superstructure.” No matter how oppressed the working classes might be, their Christian faith would not allow such an overthrow, Gramsci theorized. Marxists taught “that everything valuable in life was within mankind.”3

Gramsci began his re-imaging of Marxism by dropping the harsh slogans. “It wouldn’t do to rant about ‘revolution’ and ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and the ‘Workers’ Paradise.’”4 Instead, Marxism would have to put on a new face and talk about “national consensus,” “national unity,” and “national pacification.” Sound familiar? The democratic process rather than revolution would be used to bring about the necessary changes. At first, pluralism would be promoted and defended. Further, Marxists would join with other oppressed groups—even if they did not share Marxist ideals—to create a unified coalition of voting power. After building their coalition “they must enter into every civil, cultural and political activity in every nation, patiently leavening them all as thoroughly as yeast leavens bread.”5

To change the culture, Gramsci argued, “would require a ‘long march through the institutions’—the arts, cinema, theater, schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic medium [of the time], radio.”6 Have they been successful? To ask the question is to answer it.

The American Left is trying to destroy our nation in hopes of building a new one by undermining the core values of America through the tactics set forth by Alinsky in his  Rules for Radicals. It was Alinsky who wrote, “Do one of three things. One, go find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing — but this will only swing people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates.”7

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are students of Alinsky’s methods. Hillary had met Alinsky at Methodist church outing when she was a teenager. They were impressed with one another. In late 1968, Alinsky offered Hillary Rodham a job working for him. She had insider aspirations. She wrote her Senior Thesis on Alinsky in 1969: “There is Only the Fight . . .”: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.

Unlike the 1960’s radicals, Hillary believed the system could be changed from the inside. She, and many others like her (e.g., Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who is married to Bill Ayers, are friends with Obama), took Alinsky’s “radical” methods and made them mainstream. “Seventeen years later, another young honor student was offered a job as an organizer in Chicago.

By then, Alinsky had died, but a group of his disciples hired Barack Obama, a 23-year-old Columbia University graduate, to organize black residents on the South Side, while learning and applying Alinsky’s philosophy of street-level democracy. The recruiter called the $13,000-a-year job ‘very romantic, until you do it.’” The rest, as they say, is history.

The Flea-bag protestors are a diversion. While the media are focusing on this so-called popular movement, Obama and his surrogates are following the Gramsci and Alinksy model — the takeover of the nation’s institutions.

  1. [1]Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (San Franciso: Encounter Books, 2000), 15. []
  2. Malachi Martin, The Keys of This Blood: The Struggle for World Dominion Between Pope John II, Mikhail Gorbachev and the Capitalist West (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), 245. []
  3. Martin, The Keys of This Blood, 245. []
  4. Martin, The Keys of This Blood, 249. []
  5. Martin, The Keys of This Blood, 250. []
  6. Patrick J. Buchanan, Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization (New York: St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books, 2001), 77. []
  7. Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, [1971] 1989), xxiii. []